Osterman leads Longhorns past Evansville for fourth straight win
AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas stole five bases in the first inning - including three by Amber Hall (Deer Park, Texas) - and jumped out to an early 2-0 lead as No. 4 Texas won the first of three weekend games against Evansville, 3-0, on Friday evening at McCombs Field. Texas (13-2) won its fourth-straight game and improved to 6-0 at home as Cat Osterman (Houston, Texas) tossed her fourth one-hitter of the year in the victory.
Tina Boutelle (Katy, Texas) went 2-for-2 in the game, including her first triple of the season. Osterman struck out 16 Purple Aces while walking one in the complete game. With the five stolen bases in the game, Texas upped its stolen base total to 30 on the season (in 36 attempts) in 15 games. Last season, in 49 games, the Longhorns had a year-long total of 33 stolen bases in 52 attempts.
After Boutelle walked to lead off the first inning and then stole second, Hall bunt singled to put runners at first and third. Hall took off for second in a steal attempt and Boutelle made the move for home to score, allowing Hall to advance to third. Then, in a bizarre move, the Evansville catcher walked toward the pitching circle and the pitcher, who was holding the ball, walked out of the circle, giving Hall the opportunity to steal home and stake Texas to a 2-0 lead.
UT closed the scoring in the third inning when MicKayla Padilla (Cedar Park, Texas) reached on a throwing error and then came home on Hall's sacrifice fly.
The only hit Osterman gave up in the circle came with one out in the first inning, a bunt single to Cassey Kemna. However, the following batter struck out as Kemna left first to steal second, and UT catcher Megan Willis (Chandler, Ariz.) threw a strike to second to get the runner with a large lead. Willis has now thrown out four of five runners attempting to steal on her this season. Osterman retired the next 15 batters before walking the lead-off hitter in the seventh inning.
Texas returns to action on Saturday when the team plays a doubleheader against the Purple Aces, beginning at 11 a.m. at McCombs.